EC culture models are essential to study pathological alterations of endothelial cells (ECs) in pulmonary vascular diseases under standardized conditions. Nevertheless, little is known about the spectrum of alterations of vessel-specific endothelial phenotypes in monolayer cultures. For the comparative study of endothelial markers in vivo and in vitro we investigated immunohistochemically the expression of PECAM-1, vWf, and CD34 by pulmonary ECs in vivo and in stimulated/unstimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HU-VEC) and human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC). In vivo, vessel type-specific expression patterns were found for vWf and CD34, while PECAM-1 was homogeneously and strongly expressed. While all HUVEC showed a marked vWf staining, about two-thirds of HPMEC exhibited a strong and the rest a moderate vWf staining. In both in vitro models all ECs were clearly PECAM-1-positive. However, only about 20% of the HUVEC and HPMEC were CD34-positive. Our results demonstrate the reduced expression of vessel type-specific endothelial phenotypes by endothelial monolayer cultures, stressing the need to improve culture conditions as well as develop cocultures and three-dimensional culture models. Moreover, the need for endothelial markers specific for single microvascular type ECs becomes obvious in order to establish cultures consisting of only one microvascular ECs subpopulation.